Many NBA fans may not realize how consistent the Portland Trail Blazers franchise has been since they were founded in 1970. The Blazers have made the playoffs in 34 of the team’s 48 seasons and reached the postseason 21-straight seasons between 1983 and 2003.
This success has resulted in Portland’s fanbase being one of the most passionate and supportive in the entire league. Their 814-game sellout streak is one of the longest in major sports history. The first true superstar and all-around best player in franchise history was Bill Walton.
The eccentric big man has remained in the public spotlight for decades as a Grateful Dead-loving, off-the-wall, iconic color commentator, but he was a dominant big man in his prime. He only played four years for the Blazers, but those four years were magical. In 1976-77 he led them to the only championship in franchise history. It was the first winning season Portland had ever experienced and the first time they’d even reached the postseason. Walton and the Blazers faced off against Julius “Dr. J” Erving and the Philadelphia 76ers. The Sixers were up 2-0 in the series before Walton took over. He won the Finals MVP by willing the Blazers to four-straight victories with his dominant post play.
Walton would eventually give way to other Blazers’ superstars such as Clyde “The Glide” Drexler who would take the Blazers to two NBA Finals appearances. Currently the team is led by Damian Lillard, a generational talent at point guard and one of the most underrated and under-appreciated players in the the entire NBA. Portland’s loyal and passionate fanbase certainly appreciates Lillard and places him alongside the other Blazers’ legends in this all-time lineup.
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